September 18, 2017

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman {Book Review}

I have been exploring more Amish fiction than I have ever before, thanks to the many books coming into my hands through different review programs like The Fiction Guild. One of the books that I recently read was Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman. I started it knowing that it was the 2nd book in a series, and I hoped that not reading book 1 first would mess me up.

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About the Book

Love Bears All Things is the second book in the Amish Secrets Novels by Beth Wiseman. This novel continues the life of Charlotte Dolinsky introduced in book one, My Brother's Keeper. This book takes place several months after the conclusion of book one. There are four primary characters in this book: Charlotte Dolinsky, Jacob King, Daniel Byler, and Annie Byler. Charlotte is a 28 year old English woman who just got dumped by her boyfriend. Still trying to process the rejection and grow in her fledgling faith, she suddenly gets a phone call from her Amish friend Hannah King that Hannah's brother Jacob has run away from home in Lancaster, PA. Charlotte promises to do what she can to help Hannah--but is still shocked when Jacob shows up on her doorstep in Houston. He's decided to explore what it means to be English even though it means living his fiance Annie Byler behind in despair. But he doesn't realize that Charlotte's life has fallen apart and is getting evicted from her home--yet she does her best to encourage him to come home. She finally decides she needs a new start herself, and heads up to Lancaster to try to sell the house her recently departed brother left her. Jacob doesn't come with her though--which puts animosity between Charlotte and Jacob's fiance Annie who is SURE Charlotte was encouraging him to stay. 

The book's plot has a main focus on Charlotte and how she deals with her past and feeling of brokeness--while trying to decide what she's going to do with her life. Ironically, she finds friendship in Daniel Byler, Annie's older brother. But he's Amish and she isn't, so she knows it won't work between them romantically no matter how wonderful it would be. Together she and Daniel work to help Jacob and Annie get back together, all the while she tries to understand the power of redemption and learn what it means to have God as your Father who won't let you down. 

My Thoughts on the Book

I think that certain aspects of Love Bears All Things would have been easier to understand had I read book one in the series. So much was referenced to Charlotte's previous time in Lancaster County, that I had to just piece together the information. Was it 100% necessary to read the first book? No, I don't believe so. I think this book gives the reader enough to understand. 

I think the book does a good job of showing how we are all imperfect in our lives, no matter what we think. The emotional ups and downs of Charlotte are very familiar I'm sure to those in similar situations of abuse, rejection, and trauma. I think the author handled it very well.

The book covers out of wedlock pregnancy, drug addictions, depression, and more--not something you think you would find in any old Amish story. The author keeps her characters real and I appreciate that. There isn't a red ribbon to tie everything up into happily ever after when it is done either. 

Love Bears All Things earns 4★
All in all, I think this book was interesting and it does make me want to go back and read book number one now. I would probably pick up book #3 Home All Along to see what happens next in this story.

by Beth Wiseman
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